Monday 29 November 2021

More buildings, yet more buildings!

 Hello again, I have been a bit busy with other things but have managed to sort out a few more buildings for my town project. I still have yet more to base up but have run out of the wood I use for the bases at the moment. So here you go with the latest few that are finished. 

First up is a calvary, a religious icon that will make a nice scenic piece in the town. The cobblestones are made out of FIMO clay and then rolled with a Greenstuff World roller. The pavement is from 4 Ground and the fences are Wills Scenics. The calvary is from Sabotag3d and the flowering plants are from Serious-Play. I am reasonably happy with how it all came together, although I did mess up with the positioning, the opening in the fence should have been on the pavement edge, not on the cobblestones. Ah well, you live and learn.

Calvary and nice garden surround.

Then I based up some of the Landmark buildings that are sadly no longer available. I arranged 4 of them to go together and then constructed the basing around them. The garden may be a bit too "grassy" and I may revisit in the future and add a vegetable plot, but apart from that it is good enough and makes a nice addition to the town.
Landmark buildings x 4
The cobblestones are Fimo, rolled and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. The pavements and walls are 4Ground and are not baked. 
Rear yard and garden.
Finally here is a view of the town as it stands at the moment. I still have a few things to tweak on it, the hotel needs to be based to match the rest and I still need some more roads. the final arrangement is not fixed, but I think it is coming together fairly well.
My small town, a work in progress

Well, that's the lot for now. I am off to play Chain of Command in the jungle tonight. Should be fun....

Take care folks, stay safe.

Friday 29 October 2021

4Ground buildings, green stuff roads and other stuff

   A little while ago I won a few buildings from 4Ground. I have now made them and based up two of the three I got. These will join the ones I did previously in making a town set up for various games from WW2 onwards. 

First up is the 15mm Terrace with additional floor. This will make a nice addition to my street and it was fun getting back into the basing of these. The walls and pavements are also from 4Ground and I think they do add to the final structure.

Front facing
Rear facing and gardens

Closer view of the gardens
The other building I have finished is the 15mm North West Europe Farmhouse. This comes quite nicely painted up, but I have done a bit of work and painted some of  the bricks in different shades of grey and repainted the roof in a green tile to match the lean-to I added. Again, the walls etc are from 4Ground but the other bits are from other companies. I think the lean-to is from Battlefront and the green house and cold frames are from Sabotag3d. I'm pretty happy with how it came out in the end, it obviosuly belongs to a more well-to-do member of the local community.
The farm is it comes

Based up and painted up

The vegetable garden

and from the other side

A rear view showing the courtyard, grass and vegetable garden

Another purchase I have recently made is a couple of greenstuff rollers from Greenstuff World. To be accurate, I got them from Firestorm Games, but you get the idea. I duly bought 18" of greenstuff on eBay and had at it. A bit of practice and things improved until, eventually, I had 6' (or 180cm) of cobblestone roads for my town. Various shades of grey and brown were slapped about on the stones, then some mud brown and gloss varnish on the mistakes to make them look like mud and Robert is your mother's brother. I think 6' will be enough for the town, the country side will have mud tracks that I already have.
Roads, 18 sections of 4'

A closer look at the cobblestones (and mistakes mud)

A few bits of road arrayed around the farm house.

Gaming has been a bit scarce, mostly because I caught a stinking cold type thing which laid me low for a couple of weeks. Last Monday I did get to run a game of Billhooks for Panjo and Colin, which Colin won quite easily due to a random event making one of Panjo's units change sides. We are having another go next Monday, hopefully I will remember to take some pictures this time.

Tomorrow Christopher and I are off to BIG for a day of Lardy games. The event is called Gert Lush Lard and I am looking forwards to it. Chain of Command in the morning and Infamy in the afternoon, should be a good day. 

Catch you all next time, have a good one and take care.

Sunday 26 September 2021

Battle Bunker, 4Ground and a great day out.

Recently I won a thing. It doesn't happen very often so it was a nice surprise and it got better as it went on. So, here is some background.

A while ago, before Co-Vid messed up everything, I meet some nice folks at a wargames day at Entoyment in Poole. Lee "Stonewall" Wilkins, his long suffering wife Mel and their son Jamie soon became friends and even started coming to the Devon Wargames Club, despite being from up North. Well, north of Exeter is North isn't it? They then started a You Tube channel which posts their games, thoughts and events. I subscribed so I could stay updated about what they were doing, especially as we couldn't get together for a game during the lockdown period. 

They hit 500 subscribers and had a prize draw and one very lucky chap won it! I was chuffed to win and things got even better when I was invited up to collect my prize in person so they could put up a video of it. The prize was £50 of 4 Ground scenery, which I like and have quite a bit of already, and the venue was the new gaming centre at 4 Grounds HQ called FactoruM. What a place it is, it felt so comfortable and chilled there and was like a home from home. We met up with Ben, the owner of 4 Ground and a real top chap he is. He and all the people that work there are great company and really pleasant to be around. After a guided tour of the business we were treated to a very nice lunch before getting down to some gaming. Ben even gave us a freebie from Jamie's store room, much to his consternation. Thank you Ben, that was an unexpected bonus and is really appreciated.

Here is what I came away with, a touch over £50 me thinks!

A lovely Rorke's Drift set up was arrayed before us, with the four players taking the major parts from the film. I was Corporal Allan, the true hero of the engagement, who was the only leader on the day to keep all his men alive. Rumours that the Zulus were scared of his singing are misplaced and unfounded. Nathan was Colour Sergeant Bourne and was seen to throw away his lives in a haphazard manner. Apparently he won the most VC's on the day, but we think that is fake news. Christopher was Lieutenant Chard, RE, who was also free and easy with the lives of his men. Ben was Lieutenant Bromhead of the 24th, a fine leader who throw himself into action all over the field of battle. 

Lts Chard and Bromhead overlooking the defences

The game itself was very clever, it feels like the film did and the mechanisms Stonewall, Mel and Jamie have used for their rules do make it dramatic with action jumping from one part of the compound to another. The Zulu's can appear anywhere around the table and their actions are determined by a dice roll. Apparently not every roll results in an "F" for "Flippin' 'eck, here they come again", but it sure felt like it at the start. Ben's face when he shot at the Zulu unit facing him and they responded by charging straight into contact was a picture. It was not the reaction he expected from them, too be fair we were all a bit shocked by that turn of events.

Defend that wagon boys, here they come again!
Corporal Allan steadies his men before the Zulu assault

The initial attack was concentrated on the opposite side to my troops, but soon came around the sides and everyone was quickly facing at least some Zulu warriors. It was a close run thing, but we held until the column arrived, so won the day and went home for tea and medals. If you get the chance to play the game then grab it, I would play it again tomorrow if I could.

Jamie and Stonewall planning the demise of the Empire

Look at the evil grin on the face of Stonewall in this picture, the man is enjoying it too much I tell you!

Near the end and the redcoats are hard pressed

Zulus, farsands of 'em!

Bromhead, Hook and Schiess defend the rampart
while Corporal Allan secures their flank

Chard and Bourne are pushed back by weight of numbers

Christopher looks up "Fall Back" while Ben wonders where the roof went.
So that's it for now folks, thanks to Lee, Mel, Jamie, Ben and all the others at 4 Ground for hosting us yesterday, it was great and we will be back sooner rather than later.

A quick update

Well it has been an interesting few weeks since I have posted anything here. This will be a brief post about what has happened with a longer post about yesterdays event to follow. 

 Firstly I have now had my second cataract operation and it went as well as the first. My vision is great at distance now, I only need reading glasses for up close work. Top notch service and a great result, happy days! 

 Secondly, we had the Clotted Lard event at the club, ably managed by the over-worked Bob who did a marvelous job herding cats, ahem I mean wargamers, to get the event sorted. He had some major problems with various games being cancelled and many people dropping out for various reasons, but he pulled it all together and a good day was had by all. I ran a Chain of Command game in the morning, based on the actions at Mirbat in 1972. It went quite badly for the SAS and local troops in my game, with numerous casualties amongst the SAS unit. The players seemed to enjoy it though, which is what it is all about. In the afternoon I played a Sharp Practice AWI game put on by the very talented Jim Ibbotson. The scenery and figures were beautiful and the game was very balanced and a lot of fun to play. Victory for the forces of the King was assured by some very good dice rolling on my co-commanders part.
Finally, O Group has entered my gaming encyclopedia and very welcome it is too. Ian and Steve put on a game at the club and I was lucky enough to get to play it. It inspired me enough to put on a game the following Wednesday for my son and Nathan to play, to try out some more rules and units. The latest publication by Reisswitz Press, it is a battalion level game and plays very nicely. I will so no more about it today though as I am still learning how to play it properly, it's another set that is easy to learn but difficult to master. Below are a few snaps of the game I put on.
Table setup, France 1944

Germans occupy the farm

Panzers marsch!

A British company commander spots some trouble

The Germans advance in force

The farm is captured after a hard fight

Results of the farm fight

Right, thats it for now. Another update will be along soon with a report of a cracking day yesterday. Catch you later.

Tuesday 10 August 2021

I can see and I AM THE LAW!

 I have finally had my first cataract operation, following a screw up in May that resulted in the op being cancelled. While it was a totally weird sensation to have somebody poking about in my eye, the result is good so far. I can now see really clearly out of my right eye, while my left is still crap. Woohoo! I am happy that it is finally getting done and even happier that the result has been so good already. I now have 4 weeks of eyedrops and behaving so I don't put too much pressure on it but today is a damn good day.  Hopefully the wait for the left eye being done will not be too long.

Gaming wise I have not done much. I did play a game of Quartermaster General : Cold War with Stumpy, Andy and Zob. Andy and I were the neutrals, Nathan was the Soviets and Zob was NATO. We won, primarily because Zob concentrated on "beating" the Soviets, allowing us to concentrate on holding back Nathan's repeated incursions into our areas. It wasn't so much that we won as the other two lost, but I will take the win.

Painting has been limited due to my crap eyesight, although things are now better in that area obviously. My son has decided he wants to play Warlord Games new Judge Dredd game. I was brought up in the 2000AD period and JD was always good to read. So, a few shekels were parted with and he bought the base game. I then ordered Dredd and the Arch Villains box. I have painted the judges up so far, as you can see here. 

Dredd, Street Judge and Rookie
I like the figures, the detail is great and they paint up nicely. I am not a fan of the stupid little cast on bases but that is a minor niggle. I have to decide on a base style for them and it will either involve cutting off the cast base or building up the base to hide the cast base. Decisions will be made soon(ish). Junior is painting the gangers up.

The game itself is pretty good. Higher ranked judges are deadly, but weight of numbers and lucky dice can swing the game for the gangers. I managed to blow away a senior judge with a wounded juve ganger with a sawn off stub gun. I had great dice and he didn't(obviously) but it was a win for the gangers.

Anyway, that is it for now. Take care folks and I'll catch you next time.

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Some more Wars of the Roses figures and other news

 Well it's been a while since I had anything to report, but things have been a bit manic. First up my eye operation was cancelled while I was at the hospital, so still no movement on that front. No idea when it will be rescheduled, but fingers crossed for soon.

Then my Mum had a stroke while on holiday in County Durham. It's sods law that it happened while she was so far away, so my sister and I had a panicked over night 6+ hour drive up to help out. My step-father is not in great health either and he panics a bit when things go wrong, so we had to go and sort him out as well. Mum is on the mend and back home in Cornwall, having been informed that she is not allowed to go any further north than Devon now. 😉 

Wargames wise, I have not played much. I did get a game of Trojan Wars Dux Brittanniarum at the Devon Wargames first meeting since lockdown lifted a bit. There is a write up here which is rather one sided as it was written by Vince Hector. It was a great game though and thanks to Chas, Vince and Andy for making the first game back so enjoyable.

I also played a game of Sharp Practice at the Monday night gaming group, where the Confederate forces saw off the Union trespassers and cleared the way to Washington. Sadly no pictures, but it has inspired me to run a campaign for Colin and Panjo to play. The first battle is under way and will be completed next Monday hopefully. While that was going on I played a couple of games of Tumult Royale with Andy and Zob, which is an enjoyable and fun boardgame, well worth the £7 it cost Zob. I came last in the first game but turned it around and won the second. It is quite tactical, more so than I realised in the first game.

Painting has been very slow and the quality has suffered due to my eyesight being so crap currently. I did manage to finally finish off the revolting peasants I have had on the go though. Wargames Illustrated had a nice article about rabbles and rebels in "Never Mind the Billhooks" and I was sold on the idea. A few clicks on the interweb and I had two boxes of Fireforge Games Folk Rabble and a box of Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors on the way. I worked out that these boxes would give me enough figures to make up three units of 24 revolting peasants. Also the Folk Rabble had enough spare arms and heads that I could use them on the Gripping Beast figures to make them match in. 

Once they had arrived I started assembling them, using the extra arms and heads as described and chopping and gluing bits here and there. The figures came with a really nice mix of "weapons" including scythes, flails, a bow and various choppy type things. A couple of slings and spears from the Beasty figures and I had a reasonable mix, at least I think so. So I slapped on some paint. 

Now the quality of these paint jobs are basic to say the least. Most of it is Contrast Paints from Games Workshop because they are easy to use when your vision is blurry. I don't think they look too bad considering, they are only revolting peasants after all.

Unit one. For some reason they have ended up with 5 torches, ready to burn down the establishment. I quite like the look of the chap second from the right in the front rank, he looks like he means business with his two axes.

Unit two, who only have a single torch. No notable figures in this one but a nice mix of weaponry. 

Unit three, again only the one torch. I liked the look of the chap third in from the left, extorting his comrades on while holding a scythe. 

Well, there they are. I now need some more Men-at-Arms as I apparently do not have enough, oh and some more archers. My force is sadly understrength for Saturdays game at the Devon Wargames meeting.

Take care folks and I will catch you next time.

Monday 3 May 2021

Not much going on.

 As the title says, there is not much to report. My painting mojo has moved on, at least for painting my own figures anyway. I have built some extras for my Cold War project, adding 10 T-64s, 4 BRDM2s and a few command vehicles but they are all sat in their unpainted glory looking at me in disgust.

One thing that has happened is the attic space has had a sort out. My darling wife(She Who Must Be Obeyed) decided we needed to sort it out as we are not getting any younger. So, a lot of old wargames stuff game down and is gradually being sold off. So far some old metal GW Goblins have gone with more to follow. I also had a look at the Bretonnian army I had over 20 years ago, back when I started painting. To say my standard has improved would be an understatement.

Here are a couple of pictures of a few painted(sort of) figures. At the time I was chuffed to bits with them but age has not been kind. No shading, no real details, no highlights. I was almost sorry to see them again. 

Metal Bowmen

A Knight and a Wizard
I decided to strip the paint off, either to repaint them or, more likely, to sell them on. So a quick search on the web for the best way to strip them and I came up with a new system. Previously I had tried brake fluid, oven cleaner and various other concoctions, but nothing really worked well. Now however there is a new (at least to me) paint stripper and boy does it do the job.

Here are the same figures after a couple of hours, literally 3 to 4 hours, soaking and then a rinse and quick brush with an old toothbrush. It worked wonders, even on the thick layers of paint these figures had.

A cleaner knight and wizard

Three shiny bowmen

Now it is not perfect, there is some undercoat showing on the horses etc, but the figures are very clean. So far I have stripped over 100 figures ranging from very old, pre-slotta base figures up to the more recent(ish) Necromunda gangers. 

So, what is this remarkable stripper you may ask. You probably didn't but I will tell you anyway. It is called Biostrip 20 Paint Stripper and I bought mine on Amazon for £20 for a litre. This has stripped over 100 figures but has now become more paint that stripper, so I have just ordered some more. I got the idea from this video on YouTube, although I use gloves to avoid direct skin contact with it. 

So, there you go folks, that's my latest bit of advice and I am off now to strip off some more knights that I put in at 7am today. Catch you all later when hopefully my painting will be back on track.